The Effectiveness of PREP with Lower-Income Racial/Ethnic Minority Couples


  • Jesse Owen, PhD, University of Louisville; Kelley Quirk, MA, Educational and Counseling Psychology Department, University of Louisville; Carrie Bergen, MSW, LCSW, SGA; Leslie J. Inch, PhD, SGA; Tiffany France, BA, SGA Youth & Family Services.

Address correspondence to Jesse Owen, Educational and Counseling Psychology Department, RM 320 College of Education and Human Development, University of Louisville; Louisville KY 40292 E-mail:


The current study examined the effectiveness of the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP) with lower-income and racial/ethnic minority (African American and Latino/a) couples. Additionally, we tested whether relationship outcomes varied based on the delivery format (i.e., group format vs. couple format). The sample included 321 unmarried couples expecting a child or who have a child 3 month old or younger. The couples participated in 16 hr of PREP via a group or a couple format over the course of 2–3 months. Couples relationship quality was assessed prior to and directly after the program. The results showed that men and women demonstrated significant gains in their communication skills, relationship functioning, friendship, dedication, and relationship confidence. Couples who participated in PREP via the couple format had better outcomes on three of the seven relational outcomes as compared to couples who participated in PREP via the group format.